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There's something that I've said for a long, long time. Pretty much since I made the discovery that you could argue with people on the internet: If you have to lie to win an argument, you know in your heart that you've already lost, and that you think victory is more important than having a moral compass.

This is not meant to be a compliment, by the way.

Let me tell you a little story. Once upon a time, not very long ago, I was a Republican. I voted for George W. Bush both times. And I'm only actually ashamed of the second time, when it became apparent just how much we'd all been lied to a matter of weeks after I cast that vote. 

So I don't think Republicans are, in general, evil. I don't think they're trying to destroy the country. I think a lot of them (the social conservatives) need to examine their own prejudices and mind their own goddamn business, but that's a matter for a different post.

I am, however, starting to have my doubts about the party as a whole. Because if you have to lie to win an argument...

Which could just as easily be: if you have to stop people from voting in order to win an election...1

If you tout a voter ID law that makes it harder to vote because it'll deliver the state for your candidate.

If you think the answer in democracy is less democracy for the people you disagree with instead of more for everyone

You have already lost. You have lost any claim to morality you ever had. And you have lost your right to say that you love democracy and wish to defend it. 

You have already lost something far more important than an election. You have lost your soul. 

Stop. Just. Stop.

1 - Large scale in-person voter fraud is a paranoid fantasy. Get the fuck over it and honestly examine who you are really trying to stop.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 6th, 2012 08:08 pm (UTC)
In the UK, there's no ID required at any stage of the voting process. You register by filling in your name on a form that gets posted to every house (the electoral roll), and you vote by turning up to the polling station and saying "Hi, I'm me". No form of ID required at any point, though they like it if you bring your polling card (containing name, address and voter number) to the station as that saves them time. In-person fraud isn't something I've ever heard of as an actual risk here. I think that's due to one part it being rather easy to spot when the real voter turns up, and one part that it's just Not Done.

On the other hand, postal fraud is an actual risk and does happen here. To register for a postal vote I think also just requires putting your name and address on a form - again no ID needed, which means there's nothing you can check to ensure the people actually exist.
Nov. 7th, 2012 09:33 am (UTC)
Although there are other elements of the UK voting process that are very much not worthy of eliminating (like, say, having an explicit system in place for being abel to go from "ballot" to "what voter submitted the ballot", the little per-ballot serial numbers down the bottom of the ballot, although in the last GLA election, I don't recall seeing them, so that may have stopped).

As long as "having an ID card" is sufficiently common that "several nines" of the voting-eligible can reasonably be assumed to have them (the case in Sweden, not the case in UK, if you count "driver's license" possibly the case in US), I don't actually have a problem with verifying the card at the entry to the poll station. I do tend to have my passport with me when I go voting in the UK though, just in case they want to see an ID.
Nov. 7th, 2012 07:14 pm (UTC)
I've always just taken my polling card. I don't know if they're even allowed to ask for ID (the polling card just says to tell the polling officer your name and address).
Nov. 6th, 2012 08:27 pm (UTC)
80 - 85% (at a conservative guess) of the vote in South Africa goes to the ANC (African National Congress), so there's no need for voter fraud. -_- ....silver lining, I guess?
Nov. 6th, 2012 08:58 pm (UTC)
Nov. 7th, 2012 04:25 pm (UTC)
First, I one hundred percent believe in voter ID laws. One hundred percent. It doesn't matter how many confirmed cases of voter fraud there are. It is a moral imperative to me that there should be a higher standard of proof to vote than to buy a beer.

But secondly, I have a genuine question for you.

What is a minority to do in a democracy that has no interests in protecting the rights of minorities?

In many cases, the answer comes from outside. For example: federal laws that say that the Justice Department can come in and examine election laws (That are chosen by democracy within states). Or laws against certain kinds of housing discrimination, even when democratically elected local governments would have chosen to do so.

But what do you do about a relatively large minority that has absolutely zero protections by virtue of being a minority, but not a recognized one?

Because it seems clear to me that the Republicans are in the minority, population-wise, at least. It doesn't matter how many states they essentially control, they are a strong minority in the ever increasing urban centers and it means they consistently lose the country. Which means that they are unable to govern themselves as they would wish to be governed.

People do lie. All the goddamn time, they lie - and they lie because they want to either govern others, or govern themselves as they want to be, and don't think they can do it otherwise.

When people lie to govern others, I have problems with it. But when people lie because it's the only way they can think of to govern themselves...I don't know. It's a real moral dilemma.
Nov. 7th, 2012 04:26 pm (UTC)
tl; dr: why the fuck can't everybody secede already? This country (and federalism) is effectively broken.
Nov. 7th, 2012 04:42 pm (UTC)
What is a minority to do in a democracy that has no interests in protecting the rights of minorities?

Apparently wait for the pendulum of justice to swing their way, like LGBT folks have been, and keep fighting.

Sorry, but I don't buy Republicans as a persecuted minority. Economic policy is something people have disagreements over (but frankly, the economic policies are not that different) and that's just part of governing. This country wouldn't know a truly liberal economic policy if it bit them in the ass, tbh. But as far as I can tell the reason the Republican party keeps losing is that they have social policies that apparently come from the dark ages.

Edited at 2012-11-07 04:43 pm (UTC)
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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